Roger Stone threw away what little was left of his life yesterday when he threatened the physical safety of the federal judge overseeing his upcoming criminal trial. Stone was already guaranteed to spend the rest of his life in prison after his trial, and now he’ll likely rot in jail before and during the trial as well. But the real loser here may be Donald Trump. No, really.
How could this possibly be even worse for Donald Trump than it is for Roger Stone, considering Stone just lost everything? Well, that’s sort of the point. Stone’s life is now over. Pardons were never going to magically save him, due to state charges and such. Stone’s only hope of having any future was to drag out his pre-trial legal proceedings for years, so he could have that freedom until he’s inevitably convicted and sent to prison. But that’s now gone. Stone’s only remaining possible way out is to cut a plea deal against Trump.
There has long been debate among observers as to whether Roger Stone would cut a plea deal at the first sign of real trouble, or if he would try to stick to his guns as long as possible. But we’re in a different realm now. Stone is about to go sit in solitary confinement in jail, in the same comparatively rough conditions Paul Manafort has been facing. Anyone get a good look at Manafort lately? By all accounts, he’s practically dead already. Stone is a lunatic, but even he may decide he simply can’t suffer the same fate as his pal Manafort.
So now we wait to see if Roger Stone’s catastrophic screw-up is going to end up being just as disastrous for Donald Trump. These two men have been friends for forty years, they’re both criminals, they’re both perverts, and they surely know large swaths of each other’s dirtiest secrets. If Stone flips, Trump might as well just report to solitary confinement himself.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report